Conventions

A New Association for Christian Retailers

Last week, in “response to changes in the industry,” one of which I addressed in the post “Rumbles in CBA,” a new retail association has been formed.

The Munce Group has long been a strong collection of Christian retailers who used their combined buying power to market and sell more products in their local stores. With the uncertainty of the ICRS (International Christian Retail Show) and the uncertainty of the Christian Booksellers Association, Bob Munce has announced the formation of the CRA (Christian Retail Association).

In addition, they are restructuring and expanding their existing summer convention to include international opportunities. The CPE (Christian Product Expo) has been held for 17 years. This expansion will provide an alternative for publishers and stores and international publishers to come together. Especially if ICRS is no longer a viable option. The first newly named CPE International will be held Sunday to Tuesday, Aug. 25-27, 2019, at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

I attended the CPE in Murfreesboro in 2015. I was invited to talk to the stores about Enclave Publishing. The show was very well run; and the stores were enthusiastic and supportive, with nearly 100 attending the presentation.

There is more information found in this article by Christine Johnson (link here).

This is great news for the industry. There needs to be a place where retailers and publishers can interact on a larger scale. If editors and agents and authors also attend, it could become the place to go each summer. As of now, this is so new we don’t know who will be attending from publishing houses other than sales people.

 

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Where Do You Find New Clients?

“As an agent, what percentage of your new clients come from meetings at conferences vs. general email or postal proposals? Can you address the importance of conferences?” Thanks to Scott for the question. It is a good one. Another way to frame it is “Where do you find new clients? …

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ICRS Observations 2016

On the last week of June Dan Balow and I attended the 2016 International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) in Cincinnati. It was my 35th consecutive year attending…which only means I’m old… By now you may have heard some reports regarding the low attendance, which are true. There were only 2,114 …

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Tamela’s 2015 ICRS Report 

As Steve Laube reported on Monday, ICRS was enlightening, entertaining, energetic, and frenetic. (I ran out of “e” words.) One “s” word I looked forward to upon my return home? Sleep! As a member of AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association), I entered ICRS infused with a great amount of …

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ICRS 2015 – Observations

Last week the industry gathered in Orlando for the annual booksellers convention (I.C.R.S. – International Christian Retail Show). This was my 34th consecutive event and this year had some new benefits. I’ll run through some of the highlights and then make some observations. 1) Like last year, Tamela Hancock Murray and …

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Another Productive ICRS!

Tamela Hancock Murray

Two weeks ago I enjoyed the privilege of attending ICRS (International Christian Retail Show) as part of The Steve Laube Agency, marking my third ICRS with Steve.

As usual, our schedule was packed but seeing our colleagues is why we attend, so a full agenda is welcome. Year after year, reports say ICRS is getting smaller, and indeed we did miss seeing some of our editor friends. However, we were able to maintain great connections with over 35 interesting and productive meetings. Authors are looking for good news and I can say there is plenty. Editors are still actively acquiring all types of fiction and nonfiction. Standards are high, but then again, they always have been. Talented writers who are willing to work hard will find opportunities in today’s market.

I can’t call feasting at several dinners and banquets “hardship” duty. I had a great time at the AWSA awards lunch, the Speak Up! breakfast, and the Baker Publishing Group dinner, and was especially thrilled to be at Susie May Warren’s table on Monday night when she won her Christy Award!

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More Convention Highlights!

As you know from reading our own Steve Laube’s excellent insights on this blog about ICRS, the days were busy, exciting, and invigorating. The convention confirmed our optimism about Christian publishing’s bright future.

I’ve been to the convention a number of times and have always been blessed. This year, it took place in Atlanta, a lovely city that offers hot, sunny, humid weather. My biggest challenge was trying to keep my hair presentable.

A writer following ICRS news would think this event has shrunk to nothing, but in fact, the Convention Center overflowed with exhibitors. All total, 21 writers from The Steve Laube Agency were in attendance.

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Convention Time!

by Steve Laube

Last week was the 2011 International Christian Retailing Show (ICRS) in Atlanta, Georgia. Tamela Hancock Murray and I  had a busy time. Statistics released declared that professional attendance was up 9.7% to 1,748, primarily representing buyers. Total attendance was up 5.83% to 4,918. International attendance was up 16.17% to 431 attendees from 61 countries.

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RWA 2011 – Bright Lights Big Stories

by Lynette Eason

Today we are pleased to have a guest post from Lynette Eason, author of the bestselling “Women of Justice” series published by Revell. She also won the 2011 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award for romantic suspense. Last week Lynette was at the RWA (Romance Writers of America) convention and we asked her to share her experience.

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“Bright Lights Big Stories” was the theme of the RWA conference this year. My very FIRST RWA conference. What an experience!

The conference was held at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. My hotel room was on the twenty-first floor. My husband came with me and we had a corner king room. It was HUGE. And so comfy. I could have just stood at the window looking down at all of the excitement on Broadway the entire week, but I knew there were other fun things to experience.

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